Pay it Forward: Cornelia Levels

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Many of us were lucky enough to have a favorite teacher, someone who really made a difference. For a Rockwood student, that person was his 4th grade teacher. She is being honored with our, "Pay It Forward" award.

"Ms. Levels is an extraordinary educator." That is an understatement but it's the simplest way for former student Justin Kralemann to describe his favorite elementary school teacher, Cornelia Levels.

"At a very young age she taught me about the importance of a good education, embracing diversity, having a positive attitude in life and having a strong work ethic." said Justin Kralemann.

all great attributes that Justin has carried throughout his life, including a time right after college when he returned to Rockwood to leave a club.

"On the very first day of our staff meetings I introduced myself and I had seen Ms. Levels in the classroom and obviously we rekindled our friendship over that one year of me working here."

A friendship that continues today and grew even stronger after Justin presented Ms. Levels with our "Pay It Forward" award. Ms. Levels was overwhelmed, to say the least.

"I`m just out done, I mean you do this every day, you teach every day, and you hope you touch a life and you just don`t know until something like this happens." said Cornelia Levels.

In the classroom, Ms. Levels and her students have a special connection. These 5th graders love her, and the feeling is mutual.

"I always tell my students if you ever find a teacher who says I can`t learn anything from you go home and tell your parents you want to switch." said Cornelia Levels.

And if you find a teacher like Ms. Levels, you remain friends for life.